Resources for Researching Higher Education

General Sources

AAUP Policy Documents and Reports, Eleventh Ed. This compendium of recommended professional standards is published at intervals by the AAUP.

The Primer for Institutional Research. Ed. Merideth A. Whitely, John D. Porter, and Robert H. Fenske, Association for Institutional Research (AIR), 1992. Twelve essays on institutional research topics and resources including faculty salaries, peer institutions, and cost analysis.

Reference Sources, An Annotated Bibliography for Institutional Research. Ed. William R. Fendley and Linda T. Seeloff, AIR, 1993. Eleven topics including budget and finance, human resources, and institutional comparisons and national databases.

Lenth, C.S., Ed. Using National Databases. New Directions for Institutional Research, No. 69. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991.

Digest of Education Statistics. Washington: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), annual. Also available on a CD-ROM or NCES Web-Site; useful for printing out authoritative tables.

The Condition of Education. Washington: NCES. Also available on CD-ROM and NCES web-site; useful for printing out authoritative tables.

Integrated Postsecondary Data System Glossary. Susan G. Broyles. NCES, 1995. Includes a description of IPEDS surveys and definitions of key terms.

Fall Staff in Postsecondary Institutions . NCES, alternate years.

ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Publications: 1998 Catalog [Call or fax 202-452-1844] listing eight topical publications each year over the last 15 years on issues such as post-tenure review, workloads, and faculty evaluation.

Pascarella, Ernest T. and Patrick T. Terenzini. How College Affects Students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991. Analyzes 20 years of higher education research on college outcomes; useful on issues such as the effects of research, class-size and staffing patterns on teaching outcomes. Includes comprehensive (154 page) bibliography.

Alexander W. Astin, What Matters in College, San Francisco: Jossey- Bass, 1993. On student outcomes

Change. Edited by the American Association for Higher Education. A bi-monthly magazine which provides a useful resource for following current higher education policy proposals and fads.

The Chronicle of Higher Education . This weekly newspaper is the best source for higher education news; the Chronicle website provides subscribers a very useful searchable compendium of news and data.

Inside Higher Ed . This website offers free online news and job information for college and university faculty, adjuncts, graduate students, and administrators.

1998 Higher Education Directory. Falls Church, VA: Higher Education Publications, Inc., 1998. Annual listing of institutional addresses and phone numbers, classification, characteristics and key administrators. A free directory may be downloaded from the NCES web-site.

Directory of Faculty Contracts and Bargaining Agents in Higher Education. Published by the National Center for Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions, Baruch College, The City University of New York. An annual review and listing of higher education collective bargaining relationships and contracts.

Comparative Costs and Staffing Report for College and University Facilities. Alexandria, VA: Association of Physical Plant Administrators of Universities and Colleges [APPA], annual.

Higher Education Journals

AAUP. Academe: Magazine of the American Association of University Professors.

Association for Institutional Research. Research in Higher Education.

AIR and Ohio State University. The Journal of Higher Education.

ASHE. The Review of Higher Education: The Journal of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

National Education Association. Thought and Action.


AAUP. Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession. Published annually in the March-April issue of Academe, the report includes institutional listings and ratings of mean salary and compensation for the current academic year as well as an analytical essay and summary tables.

CUPA. National Faculty Salary Survey By Discipline and Rank in Private/Public Universities. College and University Personnel Association. These annual spring reports provide disciplinary median salary rates by rank and type of institution for the current academic year.

CUPA. Administrative Compensation Survey. This annual report presents salary medians and percentiles for academic administrators by type of institution.

NEA. The NEA 2000 Almanac of Higher Education. An annual compendium of essays on current higher education issues; reports mean salaries by institution based on the NCES IPEDS survey for the academic year previous to the publication year.

Oklahoma State University. Faculty Salary Survey By Discipline. An annual report of average (also high and low) salaries by discipline, rank and category of institution for those institutions that are members of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

Salaries, Tenure, and Fringe Benefits. Washington: National Center for Education Statistics. Summarizes IPEDS Salary Survey data by State.

Accreditation Associations

The regional accreditation associations develop recommended general standards regarding faculty appointments and roles. The numerous specialized and professional accreditation associations often promote and enforce more specific and rigorous disciplinary standards. You may obtain general information on accreditation and the addresses of the specialized associations by writing to the addresses below:

Council for Higher Education Accreditation
One Dupont Circle, NW Suite 854
Washington, DC 20036-1110
Phone (202) 955-6126 Fax (202) 955-6129
Includes all the regional and many specialized accrediting associations.

Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors
1020 W. Byron St. Suite 8G
Chicago, IL 60613-2987
Phone (312) 525-2160 Fax (312) 525-2162
Includes about 40 specialized associations.

Click here for the AAUP's list of Regional Accreditation Associations

Web Sources

Sources for Online Data

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS Peer Analysis System
Detailed data on salaries, staffing, enrollment, finances.
(Other NCES/IPEDS data sources are detailed in Section "C," below.)

Not as generally detailed as IPEDS, but with greater longitudinal data, as well as special datasets regarding science and engineering.

Modern Language Association
Information on staffing and salaries for 1,986 English and foreign language departments.

Southern Regional Education Board
Covers sixteen southern states. Comparative data on finances (including salaries); college costs. See also the extensive data at:

Sources for Links to Other Online Resources

State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO)
Links to state and other higher education data bases. See especially:
Check: "Compendium of National Data Sources" (searchable and downloadable).

Resources for Institutional Research

Association for Institutional Research
Very thorough set of links, aimed primarily at institutional research officers.

Council for Higher education Accreditation [CHEA]
Links to accrediting association and other higher education resources. (Click: "Directories.")

NEAIR IR Resources

IR links from Syracuse University

Sources for Higher Education Data Publications and CD-ROMs

Describes the IPEDS data base and provides links to specific reports and publications for downloading or ordering.

Proprietary Databases and Sources

APPA | The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers
Data on facilities costs, including salaries.

CUPA home
Most useful for employee data. (Click on button: "Online Resources")

HEDS Consortium Home Page
Wide-ranging information, but institutional membership only.

John Minten Associates: Comparative Higher Education Statistics
Mostly CDs for sale, but some free downloads of general comparisons.

NACUBO (Natl. Assn. of Coll. And Univ. Business Officers)

Other Higher Education Websites [from NCHEMS]


Middle Tennessee State University
Page of links on benefits

Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) Online
(Go to: for a long list of short publications on benefits issues.)

Sources for State Information

State Higher Education Executive Officers [SHEEO]
The most complete set of links available to all fifty states: either their state systems or state university homepages.

Southern Regional Education Board [SREB]
Covers sixteen southern states. Comparative data on finances (including salaries); college costs.
See also the extensive data at:

Data on Disk

Education Statistics on Disk. NCES. Useful charts and graphs.

Getting Into College. U.S. News and World Report. Useful comparative institutional data.

National Study of Postsecondary Faculty [NOSPF: 88/93]. Public Access Data Analysis System.
The most useful version of the data from the national faculty surveys in 1987 and 1992.

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. NCES. Includes enrollment, institutional and salary data by institution.